Jul 082018

The Templo de la Concepción in San Miguel de Allende is a dirty and battered little church nudged up against an old convent that’s been converted to an art school. The convent’s courtyard has comfortable chairs and avocado trees heavy with fruit.  We read there most of a morning. The church though is a dreary spot.

Or would be if not for the shade tree that stands just beyond the thick wooden doors. People gather beneath it when the sun beats down, and that tree, reaching up around them, rings with the divine.

 July 8, 2018  Moments Tagged with:
Jul 082018

I stare about me, trying to etch into this journal the sense of Shey that is so precious, aware that all such effort is in vain; the beauty of this place must be cheerfully abandoned, like the wild rocks in the bright water of its streams. Frustration at the paltriness of words drives me to write, but there is more of Shey in a single sheep hair, in one withered sprig of everlasting, than in all these notes; to strive for permanence in what I think I have perceived is to miss the point.

—Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard

Jul 012018

The last time I was in Mexico was in 2013. Presidential elections were underway, but I didn’t really pay attention, reducing them to a funny story about being refused a beer with dinner because of the dry election laws. Now five years later, I’m back, and Mexicans are again voting for their president. This time though it’s hard not to think about the people heading off to the polls and impossible to see it as funny.

The Beav and I are in Guanajuato this Election Day. The late morning sun is bright, the sky clear, and the houses stacked in twisting rows across the mountainside shine with color. The streets are busy with buses, taxis, cars and people heading to work or mass or the market. The smell of roasting meat and charcoal fill the air. So little of what I see of the life here seems to depend upon the American Dystopia to the North. Yet back home, we generally take it for granted that Mexico will face north.

I don’t know anything about the politics here, don’t know what’s possible or best. The fact that the peach I bought at the public market came from the States makes me think I’m ignorant even of the extent of my ignorance.

Yet sitting here I wonder if (and blindly hope that) the people voting around town might say “enough” and look south, leaving their northern neighbor to play the racist fool by itself.

 July 1, 2018  Reflections Tagged with:
Jun 292018

Our last day in Querétaro, we crossed the river and explored the quartier San Sebastian, which is outside the historical district.

After lunch at the breakfast place from yesterday, we visited the Museo de la Restauración de la Replublica, which deals with the overthrow of the Hapsburg Emperor Maximillian. From there we walked to the municipal museum, which is currently full of comic book paintings by local artists.

Two things stand out about the day though. First, there were no storms in the early evening. So we were able to see the city at night, which was a nice change.

Second, earlier in the day, The Beav saw an ad for a musical adaptation of Frederick Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba. We didn’t know the play, wouldn’t understand the lines but figured that, with the singing and dancing, we could make something of what we saw. Wikipedia said it was a play about a widow & her five daughters. What we didn’t know was that in this adaptation all the actors were men!

The theater was in an old two-story courtyard that was only half covered, and a storm stopped everything for twenty minutes early on. But the show must go on! And once the worst of the rain was past, staff mopped off the stage and the troop came back and finished. It was amazing.

 June 29, 2018  Travel Tagged with:
Jun 282018

Today started off with a great breakfast—a spicy bean and chorizo soup—and thank goodness, because meal done, we walked from one end of the city center to the other and back again (and again and again).



We finally have a sense of how everything fits together, but I think we’ve walked out feet down to nubs. Still, it’s impossible to walk and not see things and we saw tons. There was the Teatro de la Republica.



Also the 18th century aqueduct.



Then there was Querétaro’s Museo de Arte, which was housed in a magnificent building that caused The Beav to start singing “Hands Up!”



And last but not least, there were the street scenes and people watching.



By the time we got home (just before the rain started!) we were pooped.

 June 28, 2018  Travel Tagged with:
Jun 282018

Scientists have discovered a new method for chatting live and in 3D. It’s called drinking coffee with someone!

 June 28, 2018  Moments Tagged with:
Jun 272018

Our place is in the heart of the Old City, and it’s a great first landing spot: well situated with a rooftop terrace for having coffee and pastry as you’re waking up. (There’re lots of coffee places in every direction and a bakery half a block down from the front door.)


Our first shadow selfie 🙂

It thunders and lightnings all night here, but by mid-morning the skies are blue and clear.

We walked around today getting oriented and had lunch in a local restaurant where we ordered bottled water and again got juice and tap water! We didn’t drink much of it. (Sigh.)


Later we toured the church of Santa Rosa and a small museum.



The day ended with a huge storm. We dashed out when the rain stopped for a half hour to get tamales from a local shop.

pollo con mole, con salsa verde y “rib”

The streets were full of water. Back at the apt, we ate and began to read. Then lightening hit something nearby and knocked the power out. (It’s back on this morning.) Looks like weather will be like this for a few more days.

Ducking into apartment before the rain starts. Only just made it!

 June 27, 2018  Travel Tagged with:
Jun 262018

The day started early because we had to be at the airport for check-in at seven. We’d stayed near the airport though so we had time for insanely over-priced breakfast before the flight.

Day started with airport coffee

We landed in Mexico City at two and, from there, took the three o’clock bus to Querétaro.

Bus Station as Mexico City Airport

Querétaro is the capital of—wait for it—Querétaro and is pretty huge. We had rented an apartment in the old and much smaller colonial center through AirBnB. We’d used the site once years ago in New York right before the city started changing laws and regulations. Figured we’d try it again and were pretty lucky with the apartment we wound up in. So score one for the internet.

We were pretty tired when the taxi dropped us off, so after unpacking and a quick nap, we walked to a place down the street for dinner.

Dinner happened here

The food was great, but seduced by the name “agua de piña” and mistaken about what it implied, we drank tap water from day one. After my near-apocalyptic gastro at Christmas in Santo Domingo, this had me worried a bit, but it had been a long day and the drink was just too good to leave untouched.

So tempting…

Dinner done, we rushed back to the apartment to avoid the lightning storm rolling in. From there we called it a night

Next stop: Day Two!

 June 26, 2018  Travel Tagged with:
Jun 252018

Off for a few weeks of tramping around the mountains, taking in colonial Spanish architecture and eating some good food. There will be coffee. There may also be posts with pictures. We’ll see.



And because I can’t tease with my post title without going full-monty: Sergei Eisenstein’s penis.


 June 25, 2018  Moments Tagged with: